Carole Baskin’s Dream

The notorious Oklahoma zoo, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, from “Tiger King”, has now been shut down.


Kiley Keith, Reporter

    The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, made famous by the popular Netflix Original, Tiger King, has been closed as of early August. Back in late March when Tiger King became massively popular worldwide, there were allegations of mistreatment of the animals, but nothing was reported, nor any action taken. That was until August of 2020 after federal authorities investigated it for multiple animal welfare violations after finding pictures showing the lions being neglected, injured, and not treated properly. 

     Prior to the zoo closing, the founder, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic,“ was sentenced to 22 years in prison last April for his part in trying to hire someone to kill his nemesis, Carole Baskin, as well as multiple counts of animal abuse. On August 11th, Jeff Lowe, the owner of the zoo as of 2016, has been taking to Facebook to announce the zoo’s closing. In that, Lowe accuses the USDA of false accusations and folding to the pressure of the animal rights group, PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  However, the U.S Department of Agriculture stated that it has suspended the exhibitor license for Jeff Lowe for 21 days and the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, for multiple animal welfare violations. This led to the entire exotic park closing immediately. 

     The future of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park seems to be in question, but several sources report that the zoo was given to Carole Baskin in June. Specifically, an order given by the courts that gave Baskin the 16 acres of land in Gavin County, Oklahoma. However, Jeff Lowe has since announced his plans to open up a new park for private filming for more Tiger King related television and/or streaming services. This raised a lot of controversy as people wondered if the animals would continue to be treated awfully, but Lowe claims that the animals will continue to have excellent care, and that this new park will not be subject to USDA inspections, or “spies” from PETA. 

“The Tiger King phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways,” Lowe said. “It has brought us more attention than any human deserves, good and bad. It has and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world, but we are prepared.”


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